Am I the only one completely okay with this?
Today I got home from school to find out some interesting news: 8th Generation Morning Musume member Mitsui Aika would be graduating alongside Niigaki Risa on May 18. And so all the blogs I've read are posting heartfelt, deeply thoughtful posts about how much they've adored and how H!P is totally screwed without her. They've been quite nice to read and are making me feel increasingly guilty for the apathetic approach I'm taking to this announcement. Seriously, my first reaction was "Okay?"
So yeah. Should I feel bad that I feel absolutely no sadness or regret that Aika is graduating so suddenly without a proper graduation? Well, yeah. At least that would be the polite and correct thing to do. But honestly? I feel nothing toward this graduation. It's not Sayu. It's not Eripon. It's not Riho. There's just no level of emotion that I have toward a member like Aika graduating. I'm not ecstatic to see her go but I'm sure as hell not completely devastated about it. That's just kind of member Aika has always been to me: that one member I literally don't care about. I know she's there, I know she sings (occasionally), and I know she got in even though Kikkawa Yuu or Sato Sumire would have been freakin awesome but other than that I can't care about her. I think it's because I know that there's really no point by now. The thing is, I started to getting into Momosu around late 2010. It was around mid-2011 that Aika started having foot problems and ceased to appear in dance shots and was generally left out of the group with the exception of a boatload of MCs I don't understand. From my point of view I didn't see why I should get invested in someone who was so disconnected from the group. And yes, I know she was featured a teensy bit more in their past songs but I wasn't around for that. I didn't personally follow the 8th Generation auditions and feel that thrill of Aika getting in or the ecstasy when she first sang her solo in Egao YES Nude. Sure, I can look at those performances but it's just not the same. As I've said numerous times, the reason I have such a strong love of Perfume is because I followed them when they were getting successful and felt like I could see them grow and blossom into the wonderful group they are today. I never saw Aika blossom. In fact, even looking at their past concerts, I never really saw her grow in general. I'm sure she but I just never noticed her.
Anyways, she had foot problems and her days in Momosu were obviously numbered. But even I honestly didn't think it would be this soon. I pinpointed her graduation date around September or even October this year. Definitely not this early and definitely not shoved into Gaki's big graduation that was actually supposed to be alongside Ai even though Gaki decided to be a good sport and stick it out to dress up as a Peeps Marshmallow treat and then have her own epic sendoff. Even I could agree that they each need to have their own day in the limelight and I just know Gaki's going to overshadow Aika because she's been in Momosu for so long, she was leader for a short time, and she's totally awesome. Aika is... not. At least not on stage. Behind the scenes she seemed a little more interesting but not enough for me to care about her. I also heard she was a good mentor to the new members but once again, I do not care. I simply do not care. Do you see my point? But I'm not surprised. Up-Front is notorious for shafting various members like Makoto, Junjun, Linlin, even Rika. And they never seemed to keen on promoting Aika. And why not? After all, she's just there. She doesn't bring the group down but she sure as hell isn't leading it forward either. She's that one member who will forever be in the back, forever in the shadows, forever getting less solos than squeaky 13 year olds. And I was okay with that. For the fiftieth time, I don't care about her. It's a terrible I know, but it's true. To put it in perspective... think of extras in a play. You know they're there but you don't really focus on them because the main characters are busy having their big moment on the stage. I know what it's like to be in the back; maybe not in an idol group but in other situations. And I have an idea of how that must feel to be stuck in that position for years and years while young members than you get pushed to the front after being in the group for one song. It's frustrating and it makes you want to just quit doing what you love because you feel like you're not getting anywhere with it. And who knows? Maybe that was how Aika felt. Maybe this was her decision and she decided for herself that she had given everything she could to Momosu but they couldn't give everything to her so she's jumping ship. Maybe UFA decided for her; I'll probably never know. But I do know what it's like to be in the same position she's in and I can understand her reasons for wanting to graduate as much as it may hurt for her small but devoted fanbase.
Well... it was fun, now it's done. Aika fans... you'll just have to find a new favorite member. I recommend Eripon. Or Zukki. Or Haruka. And look on the bright side! She'll still be in H!P! Even though my guess is they'll probably forget about her just like they did after those first few singles she was in... Eh heh... Here, have a pretty Aika picture!
So long Aika! Thanks for... existing in Momosu!
So... does this mean Queen Fuku is one step closer to her reign over MM?